Because the Mead and Mt Spokane boys track teams suffered curious season-opening losses just before spring break, there was a heightened since of urgency going into their friendly grudge match Thursday.
The visiting Panthers, believing they were double-digit underdogs to defending Greater Spokane League champion Mt. Spokane, upset the Wildcats 75.66-69.33.
Both teams dispatched Lewis and Clark.
“We were supposed to be destroyed,” Mead junior hurdler Bryan Anderson said. “We just competed. That’s what our coach told us to do.”
Anderson captured the 110- (15.12 seconds) and 300-meter hurdles (40.17) and ran a leg on the winning 400 relay (43.27).
Mt. Spokane (2-2) fell to Ferris (4-0) and Mead (3-1) lost to Central Valley (4-0) in openers two weeks ago that took two days to complete because weather forced postponement.
Mt. Spokane and Mead had several athletes set to leave on vacations. But after much deliberation, it was decided that the meets would be concluded the next day before regularly scheduled junior varsity meets.
Mt. Spokane coach Pat Kostecka didn’t bring athletes to finish the discus, 200, 1,600 relay and 3,200. The discus was in progress when the meet was postponed. Ferris finished the meet outscoring Mt. Spokane 27-5 for a 91-54 decision.
Kostecka filed a protest, claiming that the league’s standard operating procedures say that if a meet is suspended, coaches must mutually agree upon a date to finish it. He didn’t agree with finishing the meet the next day.
The appeal will be heard by league principals in two weeks.
Kostecka isn’t alleging his team would have beaten Ferris.
“We just wanted a fighting chance. We just wanted a fair shot at defending our title,” Kostecka said. “We knew it was going to be a tight meet.”
While Mead thought Mt. Spokane was heavily favored Thursday, Kostecka didn’t see it that way. He had his team losing by a point.
“It’s better than we anticipated,” Mead coach John Mires said. “We thought we’d score between 53 and 56 points. I’d have to call it an upset. We got 20 more points than we anticipated.”
Mires said his team, made up primarily of juniors and sophomores, showed him something.
“After the weird and funky start to the season, we didn’t know what kind of group we had or where we stood,” Mires said. “It was little things here and there that closed the gap. Now we’ll see what we can do to build on this.”
One of the most competitive events was javelin. Mead’s Josh Richter had a 13-foot season best (194 feet, 9 inches) to hold off Jacob Barnes of Mt. Spokane (191-1). Barnes had a 12-foot improvement coming on his final throw.
Richter, who wants to eclipse his overall best from a year ago (208-11), was pleased with the improvement and is looking forward to the Pasco Invite on Saturday.
“There probably wasn’t a better javelin competition across the state today,” Mires said.
Kostecka congratulated Mead.
“They’re a great team. They’re greatly coached and they have great people,” Kostecka said. “That’s track and field in the GSL. It goes up and down. We’ll just keep fighting at this point. We’ll get together in the middle of the field and celebrate the good things and move on.”
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